1997 Pioneer Press Treasure Hunt

Found by Rick Brown, an admitted medallion hunt duffer that stopped at Como Park on a whim. After a mere 15 minutes of digging, he stumbled on the Curad bandage box where the fabled coin was hidden, and then quietly walked back to his truck. It was about 8:30 a.m. on the morning of Clue No. 11.

Hunt information
Dates:
First Clue:Sunday, January 19, 1997
Found on:Wednesday, January 29, 1997
Finders:
NameHometown
Rick Brown
Prize:
Maximum Prize:$4,000
Awarded Prize:$3,000
Location:
General Location:Como Park
Exact Location:Across Estabrook Drive from the frog pond, in a stand of 27 trees
Concealer:Wrapped in a bandana stuffed in a Curad bandage box
Clues
Published on Sunday, January 19, 1997
Once again it's the season to be out freezing
In the great medallion hunt open to all.
But if you want the results to be pleasing
Confine your hunt to a public park in St. Paul.
Explanation:
Reveals that the medallion is hidden in a public park in the city of St. Paul.
 
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Published on Monday, January 20, 1997
Your cure for displeasure could be this treasure
As you track north through the ice and snow.
You might consider a scarf for good measure;
It will help tell you in which direction to go.
Explanation:
"Cure" refers to the medallion's hiding place in a box of Curad bandages. "Track north" advises hunters to go north of the railroad tracks near Bandana Square, which is suggested by the word "scarf". Bandana Square is close to the medallion site in Como Park.
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 21, 1997
There's a lot of wood in the neighborhood;
You should look for more than a score.
But going over thirty wouldn't be good
If you hope to find riches galore.
Explanation:
This clue refers to a grove of 27 trees ("more than a score" but fewer than "thirty") located just south of the medallion's hiding place.
Our Thoughts:
An unusually cumbersome clue which has you counting trees. But how many exactly?
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 22, 1997
He once led a state with a city most great,
But he's better known here without you.
A valuable find could be your fate
If you decipher this punning clue.
Explanation:
Mario Cuomo is a former governor of New York, "a state with a city most great". Without "you" (a pun on the letter "U"), the name Cuomo becomes Como.
 
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Published on Thursday, January 23, 1997
The site of a great battle is a name that'll
Help guide you to the proper place.
So just remember to stay near the middle
And you'll be way ahead in this race.
Explanation:
Midway Island was the site of a "great battle" in World War II. This is a reference to Midway Parkway, one of several streets near the medallion site. The words "middle" and "way" also point to Midway Parkway.
Our Thoughts:
The grove of trees was in the "middle" of the open field where diggers were supposed to do their work; whether the "great battle" in question that brought you to the dig site was Midway or Lexington, the clue was helpful. The lights from spelunking helmets would guide you the rest of the way at this point. The words "middle" and "way" are the true hint though. Note how battle is used similarly to the eleventh clue of 1957. For the record, the official explanation gives Midway here and Lexington for "battle" in Battle Creek.
 
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Published on Friday, January 24, 1997
Water and land are both near at hand
As is a creature that loves either one.
But don't go near any traps of sand
Or you'll miss out on all the fun.
Explanation:
A creature that loves either water or land is an amphibian, in this case a frog. There is a man-made frog pond just north of the medallion site. "Don't go near any traps of sand" warns hunters not to search in the area of the nearby Como Golf Course.
Our Thoughts:
This clue steers you clear of the Como Park golf course and pushes you more in the direction of a frog sculpture near the hiding site. Incidentally, that frog sculpture is a source of amusement for annual diggers, as it is such an obvious public park icon. The snickers usually begin when someone suggests, "Hey, how about by the frog sculpture in Como Park?" This clue somehow reminds veteran hunters not to be so arrogant.
 
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Published on Saturday, January 25, 1997
Around this spot seasonal sports are hot
But when winter comes it is calm.
You'll stand to pocket an awful lot
If the winnings end up in your palm.
Explanation:
"Palm" and "lot" refer to a parking lot, known as the Palm lot, not far from the medallion's location.
Our Thoughts:
Softball fields, a swimming pool, cross-country running, kite flying – take your pick of seasonal sports. The word "palm" may have led some to think of the nearby conservatory and its tropical climate.
 
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Published on Sunday, January 26, 1997
If you don't disdain playing a little word game
Then you might consider how books rate.
Once you know from whence this clue came
You'll be on a drive to something great.
Explanation:
"Books rate" is an anagram for Estabrook, a "drive" that goes through this part of Como Park. Estabrook Drive is the closest street to the medallion's hiding place.
Our Thoughts:
We like anagrams! We think this is the first in the history of the hunt.
 
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Published on Monday, January 27, 1997
Look in the grass near lots of glass
And you'll find our hidden prize.
While you're at it, you just might pass
A place where ballgames thrive.
Explanation:
"Lots of glass" refers to the nearby Como Park Conservatory. "A place where ballgames thrive" refers to the ball field with a backstop just south of the medallion site.
 
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Published on Tuesday, January 28, 1997
Things that stick might just be the trick
If you cut or bruise your skin.
So look for a box that helps heal the sick
And you'll find our treasure therein.
Explanation:
Informs searchers that the medallion is hidden in a box of bandages, which are "things that stick" and "help cure the sick".
 
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Published on Wednesday, January 29, 1997
If you had some twine, you could lay a straight line
Between three landmarks in this quest.
A pool and a backstop and a glass dome combine
To lead you to this Como Park harvest.
Explanation:
Provides a fix on the medallion's location, which is along a direct visual "line" connecting the Como Park swimming pool, a backstop, and the Conservatory ("glass dome").
Our Thoughts:
Just short of giving it away.
 
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The place to look is just south of Estabrook
Where you'll find 27 trees in a grove.
Twenty paces to the northwest will end your work
And you'll uncover our treasure trove.
Explanation:
Pinpoints the medallion's location in a field about 20 paces northwest of a grove of trees located just south of Estabrook Drive.
Our Thoughts:
It couldn't get any clearer. But how do you know which tree to start at?
 
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